Politicians recording video messages to Australians at Christmas is a long-running tradition.
And often the setting for such recordings is a pleasant lounge room with a pleasantly lit Christmas tree in the background.
But Barnaby Joyce has never been one for convention or playing by the rules.
It’s what makes his Christmas Eve video, simply titled “Merry Christmas”, both seriously bizarre and not-at-all surprising.
The former Deputy Premier, who quit his post after it emerged he’d left his wife when his press secretary fell pregnant with his baby, recorded his 48-second greeting in a cow paddock.
“Now, you probably wonder what politicians do on Christmas Eve. Well, when it’s drought, feed cattle,” Mr Joyce begins.
It’s a nice start, particularly for the man who once led the party that speaks for the bush – the Nationals.
But wait. There’s more.
“Now, you don’t have to convince me that the climate’s not changing; it is changing. My problem’s always been do you believe a new tax is going to change it back?” Mr Joyce continued.
Cool. Not exactly a traditional Christmas message, but we’ll see what comes next.
“Look, I just don’t want the government any more in my life, I’m sick of the government being in my life.”
Good grief. Not a message for the drought-stricken farmers or the exhausted volunteer fireys or something?
It’s coming up, surely.
“Now, the other thing I think we’ve got to acknowledge is, you know, there’s a higher authority that’s beyond our comprehension,” he continued.
Oh, here we go. A message about the birth of Jesus and the underlying message of the holy holiday that is Christmas. Surely?
“And it’s right up there in the sky. Unless we understand that’s got to be respected, then we’re just fools. We’re going to get nailed.”
Well, that was Barnaby’s Christmas message to Australia. Merry Christmas?